When I first began attending fellowships with The Way Ministry as a college student many years ago, one of the most earthshaking, dynamically impacting truths that I learned was this: God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, gave mankind freedom of will; therefore I have the ability to choose what and how I think! Through the accomplished works of Jesus Christ, God made it available for us to become His children, and like all loving parents, His heart’s desire is to love, bless, and care for us. The blessings and benefits of God are certainly available to us, but God cannot overstep our freedom of will. In order to receive them, we go to the written Word, the foundation of right believing, and choose to think and believe rightly.
God gave man freedom of will—the ability to choose what to think about and what to believe. As the Creator of the heavens and the earth, it was certainly God’s choice as to how man would be. God is love, as I John 4:8 tells us, and He wants to have a family to love, with children who will choose to love Him in return. We are God’s children. God could have designed us to believe rightly and to automatically love Him, but that is not what He did. We are not preprogrammed to love our heavenly Father in return. Instead, out of His love for us, God gave us freedom of will, and we can freely choose to return His love (I John 4:19). We are free to think and believe as we choose, and this determines how we will live.
Believing is the greatest principle in all of life. There are only two types of believing—positive and negative—and it is always up to the individual to choose which way to believe. On the positive side, believing the Word of God produces positive results. On the negative side, fear, or negative believing, produces negative results. The how of receiving either positive or negative results is believing. God’s will is that we choose to learn His Word and apply it in our lives by believing and acting on it. That opens the door for us to receive His many blessings.
Throughout God’s Word we see His promises set before people, providing them with the greatest opportunity to choose to believe rightly and thus receive those promises. In Genesis is the record of Adam and Eve and the choices placed before them.
Genesis 2:8 and 9:
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
From the very beginning, God provided all mankind with all they would need to live abundantly.
Genesis 2:16 and 17:
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it….
God wanted Adam and Eve to experience all that was good and to avoid the evil, but clearly the choice was theirs. God, with His great love for mankind, will not overstep man’s freedom of will.
In Deuteronomy 30 we see the record of Moses placing before the children of Israel the choice to either think and take believing action on God’s Word or suffer dire consequences. As God’s spokesman, Moses presented two options and made it very clear that by taking believing action, the Israelites would reach the Promised Land, live fully therein, and be fruitful, thus ensuring His blessings to future generations.
Deuteronomy 30:15 and 16:
See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
God’s will was to abundantly bless and care for the children of Israel. The believing action they were to take was to love God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His Word. In so doing, they would live and multiply, and God would bless them as they entered and claimed the land He had promised to give them.
Moses also made it clear that if they chose not to think and take believing action on God’s Word, they would, as a result of their choice, miss out on the blessings God desired for them.
But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
Moses explained in detail to the children of Israel that if they allowed their hearts to “turn away” from God and did not listen to and keep His Word, and worshipped other gods, they would no longer have God’s protection, which He so wanted to provide. These consequences were not His will, but the choice was theirs.
God’s Word establishes, beginning with Adam and Eve, that man has freedom of will to either take believing action and receive His blessings, or choose not to do so and receive the consequences of unbelief. It is always man’s choice….
This is an excerpt from the November/December 2017 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2017 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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